Something Not To Do When Cleaning a Sofa
Years ago, before owning my own cleaning and restoration company, I worked at another company doing the same thing. We would clean upholstery regularly while doing carpet cleaning jobs at someone's home or office. One particular day though we got a call to go out to a doctor's office and clean a sofa. They had an elderly patient come in that had an accident on the sofa. They said they would prefer that we not come til the end of the day and they would just put the sofa in a back room and finish seeing the rest of their patients. This was great, so I thought.
As the day went on the employees got brave and decided they could clean the cushions of the sofa themselves. So they took the cushion covers off the foam and threw them in the washing machine and dryer. They went about the rest of their day and right before I arrived they took the cushions out of the dryer. They were so proud of themselves because they removed the spots. Then they went to try to put the covers back on the foam and realized that not only was the foam still dirty, but the covers had shrunk and were significantly smaller than the foam now. Then I walked in the door. The first question I got was, "Can you stretch this cover back out to its correct size"?
While this is funny it does happen quite a bit, especially if you have a cotton sofa. Just remember the zipper on the back is not there so you can wash the cover but it is so the manufacturer could get the foam in the cushion to begin with. So if you are unsure what to do to remove a spot without damaging your upholstery, just call a professional who is trained in upholstery cleaning and can remove these types of spots.
Look for a technician that is certified by the IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification). Upholstered furniture today is made of many different types of fibers both natural and synthetic and it is helpful when you have a technician that is trained in how to identify the different types of fabrics. This will help you avoid a situation where the upholstery is damaged beyond repair.